New California Law Extends Time For Filing Child Sexual Abuse Claims
On October 13, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law allowing victims of child sex abuse additional time to report the abuse and file lawsuits. A flurry of allegations of Catholic priest sexual abuse of minors, as well as former U.S. Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar’s 2018 conviction, led to the introduction of the legislation.
“The idea that someone who is assaulted as a child can actually run out of time to report that abuse is outrageous,” said Lorena Gonzalez, the bill’s author. “More and more, we’re hearing about people who were victims years ago but were not ready to come forward to tell their story until now.”
“For decades, we failed our kids. Now, adult survivors of child sexual abuse will have a chance to be heard,” tweeted Gonzalez on October 13, 2019. She later tweeted, “I just can’t even stop crying. This is so unbelievable.”
The New California Sexual Abuse Victims Law Explained
Under the law, victims must file lawsuits before reaching the age of 40 or within five years of the date the adult victim “discovers or reasonably should have discovered” that they suffered damages as the result of child sex abuse, whichever comes later. The previous age limit was 26 and the previous period for delayed reasonable discovery was three years.
The law also allows a three year window, starting in January 2020, for past claims which may have expired due a statute of limitations to be revived, and allows damages to be tripled when children become victims of sexual assault because of efforts to cover up assaults in the past.
“We shouldn’t be telling victims their time is up when in reality we need them to come forward to protect the community from future abuse,” Gonzalez said.
How To File A Sexual Abuse Claim In California
The Sexual Abuse Law Firm of Nadrich & Cohen works solely on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no upfront cost for victims to make a claim or file a lawsuit. Our attorneys only collect a fee if a recovery is made. Our law firm also offers a 100% free and confidential consultation.
Nadrich & Cohen continues to investigate and pursue on behalf of sexual abuse survivors, including victims of: